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Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010

Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Howdy, dhaupt,

 

I think getting the idiom and diction right is vital to a story's believability (verisimilitude).  It is time consuming, yes, but it's a labor of love.  I couldn't see this story set in a contemporary setting.  It had an old, even timeless, biblical kind of feel.  These are, after all, kind of Old Testament struggles at work.  Sons and mothers.  Brothers and brothers.  Fathers and sons.  It's old-school material.  I didn't set out to write a novel set so far in the past (I never had done that before in my fiction), but sometimes the writer has to bow to the will of the story. 

 

 


dhaupt wrote:

Hi Bruce, I am really enjoying your novel. What I'm really impressed with is the accuracy of the language from the time period you're writing about, it makes the reading although a little harder to grasp at first, once you get used to it, it adds depth to the understanding of these people, their history and the era it's about.

 

My question is - was it more time consuming trying to be period accurate in your writing, why did you decide to do it.

 

Thank you


 

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Author
Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010

Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hi, Kittysmom,

 

Well, I don't ever intend to make something difficult for the reader, but I also can't really worry about it in the moment.  I'm sorry if it evokes difficult emotions, but I am certainly not sorry that it evokes emotions strongly.  Does that make sense?

 

It is the writer's job, to my way of thinking, to get the story right, and to do it unflinchingly, and to empathize with characters, and to let them become renderings of human beings.  I never seek to shock or embarrass or traumatize the reader.  I also do not set out to please the reader, or make it easy on you, or work in consideration of your myriad emotional and psychological idiosyncracies.  I seek to tell stories well, to tell them artfully, and to establish a believable world, and to make the reader feel something.  That is a writers job, and because that is true, I consider it a great service, and a humane one, whether the feelings evoked in the reader are positive or negative.

 

Do you see where I'm coming from?

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Bruce-Machart
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Registered: ‎07-21-2010
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hi, Coffe luvr,

 

You and I share at least one love, it would seem!  :smileyhappy:

 

I grew up a city boy, but all of my father's family lived in the country, so I had some experience along the way with cattle and horses.  I'm a competent (if wholly unflashy rider), but the great thing about being a writer is that, if you ever have a question, folks are so willing to help.  My aunts and uncles and father were all great resources for the rural knowledge that I lacked.

 

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

Bruce-

What an amazing story this is so far. I was wondering if you pulled from any of your own experiences as it pertains to working with horses or livestock?

Thank-you in advance for engaging with us regarding your book.


 

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Thank you Bruce for taking the time to answer our questions.We are a very inquisitive group.I felt as others did, The Trailer was a perfect opening to  reading" Wake of Forgiveness"..It gave me a backdrop.and it keeps me in the book ,i keep seeing it,so to speak..I am reading slowly,slower than usual I don't want to miss anything..I am in the middle of part 2.so I will cease to read much more,until Monday..Best....Susan Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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DSaff
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Thank you or your reply, Bruce. :smileyhappy:


Bruce-Machart wrote:

DSaff,

 

I tend to get emotional when I finish something.  A chapter.  A section.  Certainly, when I finished the novel, I felt a surge of emotion.  But I didn't have a difficult time.  It is the writer's job to empathize with all of his or her characters.  In fiction, unless one is reading really poorly wrought or formulaic fiction, every character gets to be a human being.  Because that is true, I love all of my characters.  I may not like what they do.  I may not like the choices they make.  I may not like how they suffer or cause suffering.  But I do love them because I empathize with them, and because I empathize...yes.  I feel for them as if they lived and breathed. 

 

 

 


 

DSaff wrote:

Welcome to FL, Bruce, and thank you for your time! I have a question for you about emotions. I am feeling very strong emotions as I read this book (only through first section for first week). Did you have a hard time writing about your characters or situations? If so, how did you get through it? Thank you  :smileyhappy:


 


 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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Kittysmom
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Thanks Bruce, yes I do see where you're coming from, so thanks for enlightening me.  As I continue to read I will remember your answer to my question(s) and try to see it your way!

Thanks again and welcome to FL!

kittysmom

"Open a book and the world is yours"
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Welcome to the group, Bruce!

Author
Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

 

Thanks, Paul.  And thanks for putting everying together.  This is a wonderful thing you all have going on here, and I'm honored and flattered to be a part of it!

 

 


Paul_Hochman wrote:

Welcome to the group, Bruce!


 

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hello, Darcy,

 

Thanks for the great questions!

 

If you will look back at my previous responses, you will see that I addressed (or perhaps shied away from addressing...) the matter of the time shifts.

 

As for the matter of how many brothers there are...you know, I've never given it a thought.  It was, I suppose, my first instinct, and after that it just seemed a given to me that there were four brothers.  I suppose it could be relevant that I have three siblings (thought not three brothers).  And I do think that the number three (the three who "escape" from the shared hardship of their youth) is important, and not only in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

 

I did intend for "wake" to have multiple meanings in the title, and it does my heart good to know that it hastn't gone unnoticed.  Perhaps this is uncommon, but I usually have a title in mind even before the original characters and conflict seem clear in my conscious mind.  And so it was in this case...

 


DarcyPDX wrote:

Bruce, thank you for sharing this remarkable novel with the First Look Book Club.  I have several questions:

 

How were the time shifts in the book designed to enhance the storytelling?

 

Of the four brothers, we know the most about Karel as the protagonist.  Thomas is the hotheaded middle brother who gets the woman Karel loves.  Stan is the helpless peacemaker.  Eduard is more shadowy.  When you created these siblings, how did you envision their characters?  In what ways are they similar and in what ways do they differ?  Was there a reason to use four instead of three brothers (since Eduard didn't seem to have much of a role in the story)?

 

Where did the title of your book come from?  The word "Wake" has several meanings: 1. to rouse from sleep; 2. the track left by a moving body in a fluid; 3. to travel close behind and in the same path of travel (as in the wake of); or 4. to stand watch over a dead body.  Did the title of your book have intentional double-meanings?

 

Thanks!

 

--Darcy


 

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Author
Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010

A word about typos

 

 

Friends,

 

You will just have to trust me:  I know how to hit the spell check button, and I do, in fact, know how to spell quite well.  Still, in the interest of using my time here to fully engage with your questions (and hopefully to get to know you a bit), I am not really proofreading my responses.  Nor do I seem to be able to remember to hit the spell check button each time.

 

So...forgive me the writerly guilty pleasure of writing with ONLY content in mind, won't you?

 

With gratitude a-plenty,

 

BDM

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Author
Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hello, AshDar,

 

Well, that's a complicated matter.  I think, in short, that the best way to write a story is to concentrate on the character rather than the idea.  If you have an active and vivid imagination, the "ideas" will find their way up through your subconscious and into the story.  If you have the holy trinity of story (people, place, and problem), then you should be able to just follow the cause and effect relationships outward from the initial source of trouble.  Just be true to the people you breathe into being, and the "theme" or "ideas" will take care of themselves.

 

Just my two cents...


AshDar wrote:

I have read about 100 pages of your book so far, Bruce, and I have an odd question. How do you, as a writer, decide how to develop your plot? As an aspiring writer, I have many ideas in my head, but I don't know how to create a plot around those ideas. I'd love any insight you could give me about this.

 

Thank you,

Ashley


 

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Author
Bruce-Machart
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎07-21-2010

Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

  Dear Wendy,

 

 It is ten o'clock at night where I am, and I can't even anticipate breakfast!  :smileyhappy:

 

Really, I think that it's quite possible that I am not fully finished with Karel.  And I may have to explore the Knedlicks a bit further.  But I don't have any solid plans just now.  The novel I am beginning now is set in Lavaca County, and it takes place in 1958.  I think there is some connection to "Wake," but I am unsure just what shape that connection will take.

 

All I know right now is the title (Until Dayligh Delivers Me) and the central conflict...a tragic accident involving a brother and sister.


wendyr67 wrote:

Bruce, do you anticipate a sequal? It would be interesting to explore further the future relationship of the brothers, and also get to know Karel's son as he grows up.


 

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Yes, I have brothers.

 

I think that we always write, in some ways, from personal experience.  I carry around some guilt (who doesn't?) about my relationships with my siblings, but we are warm, deeply demonstrative, and very happy in one another's company...so there is no sublimated family discord here, if that's what you mean.  I have a rather happy, rather ordinary, rather blue-collar family.

 


mommybooknerd wrote:

Do you have any brothers?  Is that where some of the inspiration came from?


 

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hi, CAG,

 

 

I think I answered the time period question (or tried to do so) in a previous post.

 

As for Texas, it is my home.  I grew up here, live here now, and I think that the Texas mythos (that of cowboys and cattledrive and such) leaves so much to be revealed about the Texas immigrant experience.  

 

I wanted to write about lives I hadn't yet been able to understand in a place that I had always thought I did understand.  The result was that I learned a great deal about both...


CAG wrote:

 


dhaupt wrote:

Hi Bruce, I am really enjoying your novel. What I'm really impressed with is the accuracy of the language from the time period you're writing about, it makes the reading although a little harder to grasp at first, once you get used to it, it adds depth to the understanding of these people, their history and the era it's about.

 

My question is - was it more time consuming trying to be period accurate in your writing, why did you decide to do it.

 

Thank you

 

 

My question is the same-was it difficult to wrtie in the time period and what made you decide to do that? I must say I love your book. I have been so impressed from page one and on. I would also like to know why you decided on setting the story in Texas. Thank you.


 


 

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wendyr67
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

 


Bruce-Machart wrote:

  Dear Wendy,

 

 It is ten o'clock at night where I am, and I can't even anticipate breakfast!  :smileyhappy:

 

Really, I think that it's quite possible that I am not fully finished with Karel.  And I may have to explore the Knedlicks a bit further.  But I don't have any solid plans just now.  The novel I am beginning now is set in Lavaca County, and it takes place in 1958.  I think there is some connection to "Wake," but I am unsure just what shape that connection will take.

 

All I know right now is the title (Until Dayligh Delivers Me) and the central conflict...a tragic accident involving a brother and sister.

 


 

wendyr67 wrote:

Bruce, do you anticipate a sequal? It would be interesting to explore further the future relationship of the brothers, and also get to know Karel's son as he grows up.


 


 

Bruce,

 

It is now 11:00 at night where I am, and I can appreciate your comment about breakfast. ;-) Thanks for the heads up about Until Daylight Delivers Me. I will be looking for it and look forward to reading it. I'm glad to know the idea of developing Karel and the other characters in Wake is a possibility. Thanks for the reply!

 

Wendy

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Dear Jane,

 

In hindsight, your approach seems wonderful.  How easy that would have made it!  But no...I wrote it in roughly the same order that you read it in.  I'm kind of a big believer in the idea that the writer's experience "discovering" the story should model that of the reader. 

 

There was really only one exception:  I wrote the second section of the book (Turning the Earth) before I wrote the first short section (A Winter Harvest).  Otherwise, you are getting the sections in the same order as I got them.

 

 


JaneM wrote:

Hi Bruce,

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful book with us.  My question has to do with writing with the staggered timeline.  Do you write it past to future, and then pull out full sections and mix them up to create the sense of unfolding of information?  Or do you write one section and then let your mind jump ahead or back in time to see what happens next, or to experience the causation of the present?


 

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Hello, RIRN56,

 

I don't really write for one gender or the other.  I would like to think that both women and men can find something of emotional and artistic value in the book.  It seems obvious to say that this is a book about fathers and sons, but for me it has always been, first and foremost, a story about mothers and sons.  In that way, I think I wrote it for both, but I really believe that I wrote for the same audience I always do...my ideal audience...one that is big-hearted and open-minded and intelligent and deeply, deeply connected to the joys and sufferings of other human beings.

 

 


RIRN56 wrote:

Great book, Bruce! Not usually the type of story line I would have purchased, but this book has definitely kept me wanting to read more! My question is, did you write this book with intentions of capturing female readers, male readers, or both? The descriptions you use, and the infidelities, are definitely an attraction towards a lot of a female audience. The races, hardened personalities, and fights must entice the male audience. I see this book as being interesting to both, but was wondering which gender you had in mind?


 

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Bruce-Machart
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

I lived north of Boston.  And my fiancee lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts.  I am a big fan of Providence, and I've been to Newport a time or two, and I hear there is a place in R.I. that makes the best roasted chicken in the history of human civilization, but other than that, I'm not nearly as informed as I would like to be!  :smileyhappy:
RIRN56 wrote:

What state did you live in, when you resided in New England?

(I'm a curious Rhode Islander)

             :smileysurprised:)


 

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Questions for Bruce Machart?

Dear Bruce..Very happy to hear that you are working on another novel,especially one set in Lavaca County.Although you are unsure at this point if the central characters in TWOF will play a role in "Until Daylight Delivers Me",I still have a feeling you are not quite done with them.Glad to hear that you are thinking about the Knedlicks and Karel  though..Thanks for sharing that tidbit  about what you are working on..Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Vermontcozy
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Re: A word about typos


Bruce-Machart wrote:

 

 

Friends,

 

You will just have to trust me:  I know how to hit the spell check button, and I do, in fact, know how to spell quite well.  Still, in the interest of using my time here to fully engage with your questions (and hopefully to get to know you a bit), I am not really proofreading my responses.  Nor do I seem to be able to remember to hit the spell check button each time.

 

So...forgive me the writerly guilty pleasure of writing with ONLY content in mind, won't you?

 

With gratitude a-plenty,

 

BDM


Good Morning Bruce..Of course you are forgiven.We are just glad you are with us..It can get a bit overwhelming.I have read that you will be touring and mostly at this point in the West.I will follow your website,because it would be great if New England would be included in your touring as well.selfishly,Vermont..but Boston is probably a better choice..Best Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer